Putting together a history unit study is really easy if you have the right resources. Beautiful Feet Books and Home School in the Woods are two of my MOST favorite history curricula ever. We’ve been using one or the other or BOTH in some capacity for six or more years.
As I share what we use for history, I get a lot of questions about how we incorporate the two resources. I find this sort-of hodge-podging of curriculum together to produce some of the best results and rabbit holes to fall down.
In this article, I’m going to give you a glace into our history unit study and how we combine Beautiful Feet Books with Home School in the Woods Studies to create a really fun unit!
How to Combine Beautiful Feet Books and Home School in the Woods for an Awesome History Unit Study
BFB is where I always go for literature for our history. Their choices are always wonderful. You can purchase the set of books, which comes with a timeline and guide. The guide includes lots of notebooking prompts and vocabulary too.
HS in the Woods serves as a great hands-on piece to any history unit study. It includes a daily text that walks you through the whole time period you’re diving into. Through the study, you’ll create a massive timeline, an amazing lapbook, and so much more. You can choose what you want to do and what you want to not include.
The way I combine these two awesome resources is this:
- I use the BFB guide to work through the series of books in the set
- read the lesson text from HS in the Woods
- The BFB timeline as we go and keep it posted on the wall
- we do some of the HS in the Woods activities as we work through the study. I love the newspaper projects for writing and creating the lapbook.
- The kids create their own (massive) timeline for their notebooks
What a typical week looks like in our History Unit Study
I feel like combining these two resources, we can create a really rich history unit study. Our typical week looks like this:
- Everyday: we read a read aloud from BFB during morning meeting. We’ll also use the BFB guide to go over some of the vocab words, add a piece to the timeline, or journal based on one of their narration questions.
- About twice a week: I read from the HS in the Woods text. While I read, the kids cut out the lapbook pieces that go with the lesson. They save the lapbook pieces in a baggie until the end of the study when we assemble the lapbook. They’ll also cut out the timeline pieces.
- At the end of the study: We assemble the lapbook and plan a project day where we do lots of the hands-on projects from the HS in the Woods study.
WHAT THIS MAMA REALLY LOVES ABOUT BEAUTIFUL FEET BOOKS + Home School in the Woods
Let’s start with Beautiful Feet Books:
- Any book offered by BFB is sure to be a winner. They are tried and true, living books and their name is a seal of approval in my book.
- For high school, they offer full courses and many of them will give your student TWO high school credits instead of just one. I love that!
- This way of teaching through literature is really adaptable to your family’s needs. Add more or less–whatever works! We vary our approach depending on the time of year.
- If a book isn’t appealing to your family, just skip it. It won’t affect the overall study.
- Teaching through literature is a fresh way of learning that will never get dry or boring–with the right books! Teaching with living literature is so much better than a textbook.
- There’s just some things that are learned best through stories. The lessons stick forever.
- You are able to customize your literature packs based on books you already own or just simply don’t want included. Being someone who struggles conforming to curriculum, I love that their packs are customizable.
And here’s five things I love about Home School in the Woods History Unit Studies:
- I can omit or use the elements of the study that fit our needs–so helpful when you have multiple ages!
- The lap book at the end is so impressive! I love that the kids take a lot of ownership in this and want it to really look good. It’s such a showcase!
- It’s perfect that these studies last 8-12 weeks. What I like to do, is use these history studies intermittently through the year. We will use a Project Passport study, then we may do a section of history just with literature, then finish out our homeschool year with another Project Passport–you’re not locked into a whole year and I love that!
- Timelines are such an important part of teaching history. Each of the studies from Home School in the Woods includes an impressive timeline the kids add to through the study. Very helpful!
- I’ve always found it so incredibly important to encompass all five senses with our studies. That’s how kids remember! These studies have it all:
- audio tours and daily texts,
- hands on projects,
- beautiful lap books and notebooks and timelines,
- recipes from the time period you can taste and smell!
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN (INTERMEDIATE) MODERN AMERICAN AND WORLD HISTORY PACK FROM BFB
The very best thing about BFB in my opinion is the simplicity. There’s basically a huge stack of amazing books and a study guide for mama and kids to use. This pack includes:
- One study guide
- 23 (awesome!) books
- a timeline
Here’s the books included in the pack. (and if you own some of these, you can omit them and the price of your total will adjust)
- A CHILD’S FIRST BOOK OF AMERICAN HISTORY (this is used as your “spine” for your study)
- ACROSS FIVE APRILS
- THE PERILOUS ROAD
- NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS
- CARVER: A LIFE IN POEMS
- THEODORE ROOSEVELT (I loved this one!)
- THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: PIONEERS OF AMERICAN AVIATION
- SERGEANT YORK
- THE SINGING TREE
- GLADYS AYLWARD: THE LITTLE WOMAN
- ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY
- WAR BOY: A WARTIME CHILDHOOD (This was a favorite to read aloud)
- NUMBER THE STARS (one of my all-time favorite books!)
- TWENTY AND TEN
- THE LITTLE RIDERS
- AIR RAID–PEARL HARBOR
- YEAR OF IMPOSSIBLE GOODBYES
- HISTORY OF US: ALL THE PEOPLE
- ECHOES OF THE WHITE GIRAFFE
- STEALING HOME: THE STORY OF JACKIE ROBINSON (my baseball-loving kids loved this one)
- WATER BUFFALO DAYS
- RONALD REAGAN: OUR 40TH PRESIDENT
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN Home School in the Woods History Unit Studies
- Creative Writing
- Penmanship Pages
- File Folder Games
- Notebooking Activities
- Science Experiments
- Three-dimensional Projects
- Authentic Crafts
- Lap Book Projects
- And a final party based on the time period–so fun!